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Gravity anomalies, crustal structure and rift tectonics at the Konkan and Kerala basins, western continental margin of India
- SHEENA V DEV, M RADHAKRISHNA, SHYAM CHAND, C SUBRAHMANYAM
- Journal of earth system science 2012 v.121 no.3 pp. 813-822
- topography, basins, Earth system science, models, tectonics, gravity, India
- Litho-stratigraphic variation of sedimentary units constructed from seismic sections and gravity anomaly in the Konkan and Kerala basins of the western continental margin of India (WCMI) have been used to model processes such as lithospheric rifting mechanism, its strength, and evolution of flank uplift topography that led to the present-day Western Ghats escarpment. Based on the process-oriented approach, two lithospheric models (necking and magmatic underplating) of evolution of the margin were tested. Both, necking and underplating models suggest an effective elastic thickness (Te) of 5Â km and 10Â km along Konkan and Kerala basins, respectively and a deep level of necking at 20Â km at both basins. Model study suggests that the necking model better explains the observed gravity anomalies in the southern part of the WCMI. A synthesis of these results along with the previously published elastic thickness estimates along the WCMI suggests that a low-to-intermediate strength lithosphere and a deeper level of necking explains the observed flank-uplift topography of the Western Ghats. Process-oriented gravity modelling further suggests that the lateral variations in the lithospheric strength, though not very significant, exist from north to south within a distance of 600Â km in the Konkan and Kerala basins along the WCMI at the time of rifting. A comparison with previous Te estimates from coherence analysis along the WCMI indicates that the lithospheric strength did not change appreciably since the time of rifting and it is low both onshore and offshore having a range of 5â15Â km.